This book presents the current place and future role of the community health worker. The majority of the world's population lives in less developed countries which continue to face severe health problems and high death rates. Approaches to alleviating this burden range from specific medical interventions to broader development policies. The concept of training villagers to offer local health services has received strong support from international agencies and governments. This unique book analyzes programs in a limited number of countries whose experience is particularly relevant to understanding the role of community health workers. The picture that emerges demonstrates the potential value of these workers as individuals, but highlights the widespread failure of the programs required to support them. Through case studies and an analytical overview, this work presents the preconditions for effective community health worker programs.